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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

October 30, 2009 at 11:08 AM

The unsurprising sell-off on Wall Street, plus your vote on Boeing

Top of the News: Up 200, down 200 — somebody made money, but it’s not likely going into your 401(k). Reality caught up with Wall Street today, reinforcing concerns about a sucker’s rally.

The current rally is spurred by federal stimulus, especially for the banks. It’ll have to be repaid someday. And by continuing speculation and trading by the likes of Goldman Sachs. The real economy is still ailing: layoffs continue with unemployment headed for 10 percent and no jobs recovery in sight; the housing market is still sick, with foreclosures continuing; consumers remain deeply in debt and not spending much, and state governments continue to ail.

Until these economic fundamentals are fixed, the real economy won’t provide stable support for the Dow. Unfortunately, because the problems were years in the making, and the economy is filled with imbalances and bad bets, a real recovery might be years off. If President Obama faced a real opposition party, he might be a one-term president.

Stick around past the jump and take the Boeing poll:

Boeing’s future in the Puget Sound(opinion)

The Back Story: Economist Nouriel Roubini says that whatever the GDP data imply, the more important yardstick is continuing global imbalances. They “helped grease the skids” for last year’s crash, and not much has changed since then.

On the surface, the downturn has eased some of the problem — the U.S. current account deficit has fallen. But Roubini — one of the few experts to call the crash — says the rebalancing is temporary. China will still have a trade surplus of some $30 billion in the third quarter (it was $420 billion in 2008) and it’s expected to grow even if American consumer demand stays weak.

“These imbalances represent serious misallocations of capital in domestic economies that, projected globally, raise the risks considerably of future financial crises and asset bubbles,” he writes. You can read the entire article here (registration required).

Showing that I indeed have a face for newspapers, I’ll be on KCTS Channel 9’s Connects tonight at 7:30 and KING 5’s Up Front at 9:30 a.m. Sunday to discuss — what else — Boeing.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Weyerhaeuser. Who dey?

Northwest’s old standby sells trees

Wall Street yells, “tim-ber!”

Comments | More in Aerospace/Boeing, Macro/Big picture, Outlook, Stock market

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